A Measure of Your BEING Side: Your Relationship with Feedback

Novices vs Experts look for & listen to different forms of feedback

We have two sides to ourselves: Our DOING Side: Our knowledge, skills, talents and abilities Our BEING Side: Our character, mindsets, and psyche For most people and leaders: We are more advanced on our DOING Side than our BEING Side Almost all development efforts (across education, athletics, and organizational development) focus on the DOING Side […]

How to Help a Lower-Functioning Leader Become a Higher-Functioning Leader

long-term plan

It’s a fact, some leaders operate at a higher level than other leaders. From my experience as a leadership scholar and consultant, I have found that we can evaluate leaders along following continuums to be able to distinguish the degree to which they are lower-functioning or higher-functioning: Lower-Functioning Leaders Higher-Functioning Leaders Possess a low degree […]

Most Common Executive Struggles – Part 3


Research on vertical development has found that people can operate with different internal operating systems that vary in their cognitive and emotional sophistication.

Discussing Vertical Development with Alan Mulally

Alan Mulally Featured Image

Over the last week, I was fortunate to spend over two hours across two phone calls with Alan Mulally, the former CEO at Boeing and Ford, and someone that Fortune identified as being #3 on the list of World’s Greatest Leaders. The focus of our conversation was about the importance of helping leaders vertically develop. […]

The Five Best Non-Fiction Business/Self-Help Books I Read in 2021

The Five Best Non Fiction Business Self Help Books I Read in 2021

I have always loved reading because I have felt it make me a better person. Books make me a better person because they broaden my horizon, deepen my insights, and expose me to perspectives that are different from my own. In fact, as I have been writing a book on vertical development and helping organizations […]

Vertical Development Example #3: Microsoft CEOs

Satya Nadella

Have you ever wondered what sets apart great leaders from good leaders (or worse)? What we are learning is that the difference between great leaders and no-so-great leaders is how vertically developed they are. Or, stated differently, how cognitively and emotionally sophisticated they are. Many people do not yet know the concepts of “vertical development” […]

Vertical Development Example #2: Two Leaders of Musicians


Have you ever wondered what sets apart great people from not-so-great people? What developmental psychologists have found is that the difference between great people (people we admire) and no-so-great people (people we don’t necessarily admire) is how vertically developed they are. This is another way of assessing how cognitively and emotionally sophisticated they are. Unfortunately, […]

The Most Vertically Developed Leaders See Themselves as Gardeners

Hands with small plant

Any good gardener knows three things: The gardener cannot transform a seed into a tree The gardener can create the conditions for a seed to transform into a tree The more appropriate the conditions are for a given fruit-producing tree, the more fruit the tree will produce The best and most vertically developed leaders understand […]

Becoming a More Positive Influence: Create a Culture Committed to Greatness


Consider the following quote: (In fact, in the comments, let me know whether or not you agree with it and why.) For now, let’s take it at face value and assume that people and organizations are either committed to greatness, or by default, they are committed to mediocrity. Let’s apply this quote to your organization. […]

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